Besides its artists, the Midwest music scene is often noted for its record labels and recording studios.
It’s no surprise vinyl pressing options also are plentiful in this part of the country. From Chicago to Detroit to Nashville, here are six places pressing vinyl around the Midwest.
Smashed Plastic – Chicago (smashedplastic.com)
Smashed Plastic makes it easy for artists to use their services. The company website not only walks those interested through the vinyl pressing process, but it also offers templates to help design the album. Smashed Plastic boasts a wide range of color options for vinyl records and will even work with bands to create custom colors. That also leads to some killer behind-the-scenes pics on Instagram.
Third Man Pressing – Detroit (thirdmanpressing.com)
The Third Man Records label was started by Jack White in 2001. White’s operation grew into a full-on record label office in Nashville in 2009. Eight years later, he cut the ribbon on Third Man Pressing. Located in Detroit’s Cass Corridor neighborhood, Third Man Pressing bills itself as a “boutique vinyl record production facility.” The plant presses vinyl for Third Man label releases and also non-label albums. If you’re curious about the vinyl pressing process but lack the musical talent to create your own work, you can still pop by Third Man Pressing to checkout the plant. A giant viewing window gives visitors an inside look at what goes into bringing vinyl records to life.
Archer Record Pressing – Detroit (archerrecordpressing.com)
While Third Man might have name recognition, it’s Archer Record Pressing that has the longevity when it comes to pressing vinyl in the Motor City. For more than 50 years, Archer Record Pressing has been cranking out vinyl in the Motor City. Archer has been woven into the evolution of the Detroit music scene. “God Said Give Em Drum Machines,” due out this year, is a documentary that follows the rise of techno music coming out of Detroit. The work of many of the the artists featured in the film was brought to life at Archer Record Pressing.
Memphis Record Pressing – Memphis (memphisvinyl.com)
Timing is everything. Memphis Record Pressing entered the game in 2014, just about the time vinyl sales started to skyrocket. The plant has continued to grow year after year along with the increasing demand from consumers. According to the Memphis Record Pressing website “MRP has been in a constant state of expansion, growing from 15 employees in 2015 to 200+ employees in 2022, with vinyl output increasing from 880,000 LPs in 2015 to an estimated 10.5 million in 2022.” And they’re not slowing down either. Memphis Record Pressing is currently hiring to keep up with its expanding operations.
United Record Pressing – Nashville (urpressing.com)
From one of the newest record pressing plants to one of the oldest. United Record Pressing in Nashville has been cranking out vinyl since 1949. From Bob Dylan to Miles Davis to Jay-Z, United has been tied to some of music’s biggest releases. The plant operates 24 hours a day and bills itself as a one-stop shop for music production. That includes vinyl pressing, packaging, distribution and storage in case your spare bedroom isn’t an option.
Musicol – Columbus, Ohio (musicolrecording.com)
Look, gas prices are skyrocketing at the moment. If you’re a musician barely scraping by on spare change while trying to release your songs to the world, you’re not driving all over town to put out a record. Thankfully, places like Musicol exist. While somewhat unassuming on the outside, the facility packs a lot inside. Music can be recorded, mixed, mastered and pressed all under one roof at Musicol. Multiple studios offer options large enough for bands and small enough for those voicing audio books.